Good morning it’s nice to be back, you may find that strange, I love going on holiday but I equally love coming back, back home, back were most people understand what I am saying, back were people know me and some even like me! Now our reading is to say the least well known, I am sure you have all heard the story many times, but I want us to look at two things from this reading.
1.Noah - A righteous man
The first is verse nine “This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”
So Noah was righteous - what does that mean? It means acting in accord with divine or moral law, free from guilt or sin a person who makes the right good decisions. A person who our Farther in Heaven can be proud of. Is that you, is it me? Can we say that this week this month our Farther in Haven can be proud of us, that we have lived our lives as Jesus showed us to live them. Are we people who will serve the Farther Son and Holy Spirit, in spirit and in truth, are we men and women who love and obey Him; men and women who want nothing but God’s will in our lives; men and women who are consumed only for one thing – the glory of God, His will on earth and as it is in heaven. God does not want pretenders today or those playing Church.
Can you hear the cry of agony, the pain, in our world and our community?
God was looking in Noah’s time and is looking in our time looking for men and women who feel the heartbeat of God to bring peace to our community and our world; He is looking for people who feel His heart beat for souls; who understand His desire to forgive and heal the world; men and women of integrity and honesty, not pretenders.
Many Churches are weak: ministers and believers are dabbling into occults and secret societies; sexual misconducts; pursuing money instead of souls like the politician; believers lying and living in sin. So called believers who do not forgive there neighbour or there brother or sister, Sunday after Sunday, they go to Church and sing and sit and maybe even listen and nothing happens. They remain the same. Believers who have no commitment to anything: not Bible study not prayer meetings not any form of evangelism- they have no commitment to the heart beat of God. This is why the Church is so powerless to heal or save anybody. As long as believers are living sinful life styles, they will never have the power of the anointing or the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
They will never hear fully from God, what is God telling you, is the Holy Spirit convicting you when you do something wrong, is that small still voice saying you should not have done that or you should not have done that, because if you are not hearing that voice it only means one of two things you are so good nothing you do is ever wrong, and by the way the only one that good was Jesus, or that you do not have the Holy Spirit living within you.
So who has the quality to represent God today in our church, our community our world? God is looking for men and women He will use today to save our world. Just as Noah saved the world.
One of the qualities God is looking for is people with a godly attitude; someone who does what is pleasing to God; someone who has a reverence to and for God. These people live prayerful lives; they study the Word of God, waiting on the Lord to direct them. So they can share their faith or be used to heal the sick or to heal the wounds that people cause to people.
God is looking for men and women who wait on the Lord so they can hear when He speaks to them. You will never have a full relationship with God if you live in sin. You will never be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, you will never have true peace. And God will never use you for His instrument, whether you are a bishop, vicar, curate of church goer. God hates sin- open or secret. And remember God see everything. Eventually, sin will deprive the believer of eternal life. Psalm 5:4-5 says:
For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong;
What are the qualities of a righteous man or woman? As Psalm 1: 1-2 says, They avoid sin. And 2 Timothy 2:19-21 says: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
A Christian a true Christian can only be used by God if he or she is cleansed, repented of their sins and accepted the Lords forgiveness. Sin will deprive us from God’s presence and we will never serve the Lord or be filled with His Holy Spirit. So the Lord says to us today be like my servant Noah, as the prophet Isaiah said in his book chapter 55: 6-9
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55: 6-9.
So that is my first point we need to be righteous, we need to get right with God, we need to fellow the whole teachings of Jesus not just the bits we like.
2. Noah - A faithful man
Now going back to our reading in Geneses 6:9-22, we left Noah with God calling him righteous, then the next twelve verses are God telling as about Noah’s family, about the state of the world, about what He God is going to do about it and tells Noah what he can do to escape this punishment and then God goes no to tell Noah to build a boat of this size, with this roof and this door, and how many decks it will have, then God tells Noah how he will destroy the world, but he says to Noah in verse 18 “But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you”. And God then tells Noah what is to be saved animals and food.
And then in verse 22 it says Noah did everything just as God commanded him. And the Bible tells us it was not easy for Noah I am sure he was ridiculed after all if I started building an ark today I sure most of you if not all would think I had lost the plot and as we read earlier the people were to say the least not very nice, it must have taken a long time to build the ark with just his sons help.
Noah was faithful, Noah did what was asked of him, he put not only his faith but his trust in the Lord, and that is my second point, Noah did all that God asked because of his faith in God. If we read our bible we will know God’s will for us, the question is have we got the faith to put aside our own self-interest and put our faith truly in God.
So what kind of people is God looking for today? God is looking for men and women like Noah people of great faith; people who understand the power of God’s Word, for faith is based on God’s Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God made flesh.” God is looking for those who can trust Him no matter how hopeless a situation looks; who understand at all times, God is still in control. The Psalmist said in 46:1-3
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
It does not matter the hopelessness of the situation, that God is still the God of impossibilities. God is looking for men and women of faith, though our world is messed up probably as messed up as Noah’s world, we can still trust that God is able to change the situation. To bring good out of bad, but we must do our part, we must follow the teachings of Jesus and turn the other cheek, forgive those who hurt us love one another.
The writer of Hebrews said in chapter 11;6-7 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
“Faith comes from hearing God’s Word.” Our faith should be based on God’s Word. If you don’t study the Word of God and meditate, think about it, you will never develop faith.
It is not easy, the Bible tells us that it will not be easy, The enemy the devil wants you and me for his own. Faith and trust in God’s Word is so crucial to being protected from the enemy. The Christians number one enemy is the devil and we are warned by the Apostle Paul : “16 take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” We can use God’s Word to fight the enemy; and God’s Word will unlock his blessings for our lives.
You must know what his Word is, and believe what God our father is saying to us. When we do, we are exercising our faith. God honours faith. How can God use any of us when we don’t trust His Word? The enemy will destroy you. The believer uses God’s Word to fight the devil and the forces of darkness.
The psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:9 says: How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.
When we study God’s Word and keep it our heart, in times treble, the Word will come back and reinforce us and help us through the dark times.
Without faith, we cannot receive God’s blessings and the devil will win, our life’s will be full of anger and strife, we will not be able to help others to be saved or healed because we don’t know His Word and have we have not built up our faith.
Jesus always rebuked His disciples: “Where is your faith.” Because He knew without faith, they would not achieve anything. That they would fall. This is one of the greatest weakness of some who go to church or call themselves Christians they don’t even read the bible they don’t study the Bible.
So in conclusion, what can we learn from Noah, to be righteous and to have faith in God no matter what the circumstances. And as Paul says in Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, that is one of the truly great benefits we will enjoy peace, I have first-hand experience of this, my life now is so much more full of peace with Jesus in ti than it was before I know the Lord, and sometimes when I lose my way, I lose that peace, until I repent and come back to the Lord.
The world will pay any price for peace and many do searching everywhere to find it, but it escapes them. But God gives those who love and obey Him peace.
Let us listen to God when he is speaking to us. Let us seek to glorify God. Let’s us forget the past- past mistakes, let us learn from our mistakes and move on. Confess our sin and ask the Lord to forgive us.
Many will feel that they are righteous; even I used to feel I was righteous in my eyes, but many are not righteous in Gods eyes, and some will consider they have faith but is it true faith in the Jesus, is that faith following Jesus and his teachings, if you are wondering is that me then God is says through the blood of Jesus now is the time to change move on and forget your mistakes confess your sins and move on; learn from them. Start to read and study your Bible this is the time to do it. It is another opportunity God has given to you to turn fully to Christ, and to be the person Jesus wants you to be.
Let’s pray: Lord thank you for Noah, thank you for his example of righteous and his faith in you, Lord thank you for Jesus coming to show us how it could be done, Lord Jesus thank you that you sent your Holy Spirit to help us to fellow you and to be that small voice, that guides us and prompts us, Lord we pray for an anointing of your Holy Spirit to help us fellow you and your teachings. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.